Some anxiety is normal. When it begins to hurt your quality of life, relationships, work, or well-being—you may have an anxiety disorder. Common types include: Obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, phobias, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. If you think you might have an anxiety disorder, there is help.
Panic attacks are episodes of intense fear that can strike without warning. Fear of having another attack can take over a person’s life and lead them to avoid places or situations where another panic attack may strike. Significant avoidance of situations that “might cause a panic attack” is called “agoraphobia” and may lead the person to drastically narrow their range of activities.
People with OCD suffer from repeated, unwanted thoughts that lead to compulsive behavior that may feel impossible to stop or control. Common themes of these thoughts include: Contamination, violence, religious, sexual, asymmetry, and “not-just-right” thoughts.
An extreme and irrational fear of something that poses little or no actual danger; the fear leads to avoidance of objects or situations and can cause people to limit their lives unnecessarily. People can develop a phobia of almost anything.
Social Phobia (Social Anxiety Disorder)
People with social phobia have an overwhelming fear of scrutiny, embarrassment, or humiliation in some or all social situations, which leads to avoidance of many potentially pleasurable and meaningful activities. This is much more extreme than normal levels of shyness.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
PTSD can be caused by living through or seeing something that’s extremely upsetting and dangerous. The trauma may feel like it is happening all over again. People may feel tortured by memories that generate intense levels of anxiety and they tend to avoid things that might trigger those memories.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (Persistent Worry)
People with GAD experience persistent worry almost daily for at least six months. The worry is seen as excessive and uncontrollable and can be about anything.